Student Benefits-Based Accountability

Benefits-Based Accountability
Discover how a system based on student benefits, not test scores, is helping Colo. schools build stakeholder trust and drive community support for critical strategic initiatives.

Colorado school leaders have known for years that traditional test-based accountabilities don’t tell the full story when it comes to student success.

Replacing those systems can’t (and won’t) happen overnight. But, what if your school or district could easily install a more robust, student-centered accountability framework designed to work in concert with those systems?

That’s the central question that John Tanner and bravEd seek to answer with Benefits-Based Accountability. Imagine sitting down to have a productive conversation with a parent or local policy-makers, using non-technical language, that answers two simple questions: Where are your schools performing well and where are they not performing as well as they should?

Starting this fall, the Colorado School Boards Association, Colorado Association of School Executives, and the Colorado Education Association are coming together to offer educators an opportunity to learn about this system by attending John Tanner and bravEd’s Benefits-Based Induction Program for FREE.

There are 150 seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can claim yours, using this link or the button below. Once those seats are filled, additional seats can be made available for a fee.

Register Here
Introduction to Benefits-Based Accountability Video
Student Benefits-Based Accountability Flier

More about John Tanner & bravEd’s Benefits-Based Induction Program
This seven-session (all virtual) program was designed to provide your school district and site-level teams with a basic introduction to Benefits-Based Accountability so that they can understand how the process is different from what they are currently doing and start to shift their thinking in preparation for a more effective system of accountability, focused on students and community expectations, not test scores. 

Who should attend?
Superintendents, school board members, cabinet members, building principals, teachers, union/association leaders and staff.

What you’ll be doing
Bi-weekly 60-min. virtual learning conversations
We’ll meet every other week to level-set expectations, understand the difference between test-based and student-centered accountability and start to form a collective understanding to support the basis for broader transformation in your schools.

Available email support
In addition to the live sessions, John will make himself available via email to answer questions and guide conversations about the transformation taking place beyond these sessions in participating districts.

Plus, a copy of John’s latest book
Additionally, all participants will receive a copy of John's latest book, Accountability Mindset: a blueprint for a worthwhile educational accountability.

A note from John Tanner
"Your school teams have a lot on their plates. This induction program was designed to give your teams a comprehensive understanding of Benefits-Based Accountability in just a few focused hours every month. No additional homework or reading is required. Simply come, engage, and emerge with new principles and strategies to change how your school or district thinks and talks about accountability with its stakeholders."

The Schedule
bravEd’s Benefits’-Based Induction program was designed to be delivered virtually every other week, over seven, 60-minute sessions.

Session #1 - Wednesday, September 27, 2023 |
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Define your hopes and dreams.
In this session, we answer the question: how did we get here with school accountability — and what is accountability, really.
Session #5 - Wednesday, November 15, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

Confronting testing and Campbell’s Law.
Testing is the 600-pound elephant in the room. In this session, we demystify standardized testing and put it in its proper place — it does have one!
Session #2 - Wednesday, October 4, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

Two kinds of K-12 accountabilities.
In this session, we explore the two main types of accountability and begin to unpack what a meaningful educational accountability looks like in schools.
Session #6 - Wednesday, November 29, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

Time to flip the org chart.
In this session, we discuss how a meaningful accountability empowers both those in the organization and its many stakeholders.
Session #3 - Wednesday, October 18, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

The power of trust-based leadership.
In this session, we explore the ways in which benefits-based accountability systems in schools and trust-based leadership go hand in hand.
Session #7 - Wednesday, December 13, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

How to speak accountability — in terms everyone can understand.
In this final session, we talk about how to talk about accountability, which, once your team has mastered these skills,  is easier than it sounds!
Session #4 - Wednesday, November 1, 2023 |
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

For what are we truly accountable?
 In this session, we challenge ourselves and each other to rethink the answers to the all-important questions to what are we accountable and to whom.

What educators are saying about Benefits-Based Accountability™

  • “Working with John, we've worked to overcome this problem of edu-speak in our schools. It's hard. It's ingrained in all of us. But I am loving this work so far.”
    Michele Balliet, superintendent, Elizabethtown Area School District, Pennsylvania

  • “I do absolutely everything through a benefits-based lens now — everything. When my teacher evaluations come in, it's not about what they were evaluated on, but what do you want to accomplish? The systems that you have in your classroom, what do you want to accomplish? And then building those systems and looking at it more from a systems approach instead of just asking people to work harder.”
    Michael Kalnbach, principal, Glenn Middle School, San Angelo, Texas

  • “We've been studying and working on Benefits-Based Accountability since the beginning of the year. We're developing accountability engines and we're beginning to vet these concepts based on the 31 benefits and how we're reporting them to our community. It’s already changed the way we look at school performance. And we’re just getting started.”
    Jim Lloyd, superintendent, Olmsted Falls City School, Ohio

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Benefits-Based Accountability Induction Program? Traditional test-based accountabilities have been failing students for years. But schools have lacked an alternative to these ineffective systems. Benefits-Based Accountability presents the basis for an alternative system that helps schools effectively answer the questions: where are our schools performing well and where are they not performing as well as they should.

This seven-session induction program (think: introduction) was designed to provide your school district and site-level teams with a foundational understanding of Benefits-Based Accountability so that they can experience the ways in which the process is different from what they are currently doing and start to shift their thinking in preparation for an eventual transformation to a more holistic system of accountability, anchored in student needs and community expectations, and not test scores.
Why join the Benefits-Based Accountability Induction Program? Offered virtually, this introductory program enables your leadership teams to experience the foundational elements of Benefits-Based Accountability in just a few focused hours every month. The entire course can be completed in just three months, with no additional reading or homework, giving your team a deep and meaningful understanding of transformational, student-centered accountability and adequately preparing you for a broader more complete transformation when the time is right. 
What’s included in this program? Participating school leaders will sign in to the 60-min. biweekly sessions (seven in all) via Zoom to hear from John and have a chance to collaborate with like-minded educators from across the country. In addition to the lessons and concepts learned as part of this experience, participating school leaders will have an opportunity to create lasting connections with colleagues from different districts and schools.
Who should participate? The Benefits-Based Accountability Induction Program was designed specifically for central-office leadership and their site-based leadership teams, including principals and staff. It is recommended that participating districts sign up at least one central office and one site-level team.
What does this program NOT include? The journey toward a Benefits-Based Accountability doesn’t happen overnight. The full transformation can take upwards of two years. The Benefits-Based Accountability Induction Program was designed to give your teams a foundational understanding of concepts supporting this transformation, in just a few focused hours per month. We recognize that your time is valuable. We won’t ask your teams to do additional reading or homework. Everything you need to learn can be learned in the time you spend online with John as part of the interactive learning sessions (described in detail above in The Schedule section).
How can I (or my team) participate? If you’re interested in bringing the Benefits-Based Accountability Induction Program to your school or district, you can request more information, including a detailed proposal for your team. Simply follow the button at the top or bottom of this page. Once you submit your information, you’ll receive a call or email from one of our coordinators who can walk you through the registration process and answer any questions you may have.